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It’s quite hard to dispute that the development and continuous generation of electricity were and still are crucial in improving the way daily home and industrial activities are conducted. However, without proper handling, professional electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC, and beyond warn that it can wreak havoc, resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death as well as extensive property damage.
In this context, the National Fire Protection Association discovered that between 2014 and 2018 electrical distribution and lighting issues were involved in approximately 34,000 house fires. These fires collectively resulted in 470 fatalities, 1.4 billion dollars in property damage repairs, and 1,100 catastrophic injuries.
While experienced electricians can help resolve electrical problems when called on time, these staggering statistics depict why homeowners should know as much as possible about their electrical systems. Therefore, read on to find out how the main electrical components in your home operate and some safety tips to keep in mind for maximum protection.
Electrical Meter and Service Connection
Installed somewhere outside your residence by your trusted electrician the meter’s where your home’s electrical service is connected to the energy utility company that serves you. Essentially, it measures the amount of electricity consumed by your household, and your electrical utility service provider then uses these readings to charge you monthly.
You should know where the electrical meter in your home is so you can monitor your energy expenditure easily. That way, you can notice an unusual spike that may sometimes hint towards electrical issues within your premises. Under such circumstances, you may need the help of well-trained professionals that can inspect the electrical infrastructure as well as fix problems that may be causing the spike in energy bills.
Knowledge concerning the location of your home’s electrical meter can not only help in detecting energy wastage but also in avoiding electricity-related hazards before they’ve happened. Many US homes, including those in Myrtle Beach, SC, have a large disconnect switch that’s located outside, just near the meter.
You can use the switch to turn off the entire power supply in your home if you suspect impending electrical danger before a professional arrives with the appropriate solutions. Therefore, if you’re having trouble locating the switch within your residence, ask your electrician to direct you to its location. Meanwhile, remember that if your current electrical system doesn’t have one, the main service panel can serve as the disconnect switch.
Main Service Panel
From the meter, electricity reaches various electrical components, including bulbs, entertainment centers, and electric-powered kitchen appliances, via the main service panel. Otherwise called the breaker box by some electricians, the main service panel features one large cable that’s connected to the circuits available within the house.
Every circuit has an individual switch that trips if it tries to draw excessive amounts of power. The service panel’s interface is filled with these breakers, which is why it’s the first place a professional will look into when they arrive for a service call if a part of your home loses power.
Main Circuit Breaker
The main circuit breaker is a large switch located on the top part of the service panel. It serves as an alternative disconnect switch in home electrical systems that lack one. Therefore, if it trips due to an electrical issue within your household, the residence’s power supply will get shut off.
However, electric currents may still flow into the panel and service lugs unless the power gets turned off from a separate disconnect switch. Additionally, electricity lines and the service meter may remain active unless your utility service provider switches them off. If the main circuit breaker trips for reasons beyond your reach, a professional electrician can help get the power back up.
Branch Circuit Breakers
During electric service installations, your electrician designs and implements a complex wiring system to distribute power to the various parts of your home. In this context, electric power gets divided among these parts in units that are known as circuits. You can identify the components assigned to each circuit by switching the relevant breaker off and observing which appliances, light bulbs, or receptacles lose power.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that each circuit breaker serves a single section of your home, which could be a room or even large appliances such as laundry machines. In most cases, these breakers may trip due to circuit overloads, which can happen when using high-powered appliances such as toasters and heaters.
Under such circumstances, you can plug the appliance into a different circuit and reset the breaker by turning it on. If the branch circuit breaker still trips even when you’ve not plugged in the high-powered device, you may need professional assistance from a professional near you.
Devices or Appliances
As a homeowner, you should also have a working knowledge of all the devices or appliances that utilize your home’s electrical service. These may include any light fixtures, receptacles, and appliances. Each device is connected to an individual branch circuit within the main service panel. However, a single circuit may have multiple devices or appliances connected or even just a single electric-powered component.
Branch circuits that only power a single appliance are referred to as dedicated circuits and are ideal for energy-intensive elements such as furnaces, water heaters, and refrigerators. Dedicated circuits can come in handy when such appliances malfunction since they allow you to switch off only the power used by these appliances without disrupting the entire home’s power supply. They also help reduce the chances of overloading a circuit.
Switches are apertures used to switch the power supply to various devices or appliances on and off. In most residences, switches are often wall-mounted and connected to ceiling fans, light bulbs, and ventilation fans. However, some electrical components may have one on them to allow you to disconnect the power if they’re not in use.
Switches come in different styles and colors, which means you can work with a qualified electrician to find one that suits your needs. You can choose between single-pole, three-way, and four-way switches or dimmer switch designs.
Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach; A Reputable Electrical Service Company in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Although you now have adequate knowledge of how some of the main electrical components in your home operate, that doesn’t imply that you no longer need the services of a trained electrician. If you ever need help resolving electrical issues in your home, feel free to contact Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach. Since 2004, our technicians have been providing emergency electrical solutions along with comprehensive electrical repair and maintenance services.